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My name is Colleen and I find dead people.

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06 April, 2007

It All Balances Out

Miriam has tagged me for the "Life Balance Meme". I'm supposed to create a post answering one or all of the following questions:

How do you achieve balance in your life?
What is your biggest challenge in balancing your life?
What are your priorities?
How have your priorities changed over time and why?
What advice can you share to help all of us balance our own lives?

Since this is a genealogy blog, and since I'm struggling to crawl out of a genealogical slump, I decided to search for pictures of my ancestors that look like they might answer them for me :). Besides, nothing in my own life is balanced at the moment!
The picture on the left shows my maternal grandparents, Regina (Jean) DOYLE-O'ROURKE and James O'ROURKE along with, I believe, my grandmother's niece Mary (Molly) WILLIAMS and her husband John Jurkin.
The picture on the right shows my paternal great-aunts and uncles, John, Sylvestina (Vesta), my paternal grandmother Mary (center), Joseph, Edward HODICK and John's wife Celia. At least I think I have those names right!

What these pictures depict to me is the reliance on FAMILY as a priority, even as we grow up and independent. Contact with extended family is something they had often that I rarely have. Much of this is because my ancestors largely lived close together, while we live in a more transient, and thus spread out, society.
To the left is my maternal grandmother's sister, Anna DOYLE, who was mentally retarded, with her doll.




To the right is my paternal aunt, Maryann McHUGH, who also had Down Syndrome, with her doll.




I believe these two pictures show that everyone needs a little something to offer comfort. Maryann was given that doll at her birth by an uncle, and word has it that she was buried with it in 1978. She was 48 years old when she died, which is a long time for someone born with Down Syndrome in the 1930's. I think that says a lot about the worth of special items of comfort.
Now, I'm supposed to tag 5 other bloggers. But I don't know 5 other bloggers (other than Miriam, who tagged me!), so I'll just tag Donna!

3 Comments:

Blogger Miriam said...

I love these photos, Colleen; they just brought tears to my eyes! How wonderful that you have them for your family's collective memory. My mother had an older half-brother who was disabled, but I don't know if any photos of him exist. Thank you for sharing this lovely post!

11:48 PM  
Blogger Tim Agazio said...

I agree with Miriam, what a wonderful and thoughtful post...and you did it so soon after being tagged too! I'm still thinking about what to write. I discovered your blog when Miriam tagged everyone...I will be a regular visitor now...there's a lot of catch-up reading to do now.

Tim

7:51 AM  
Anonymous Lillie Ammann said...

Thanks for participating in the meme and for sharing your thoughts in such a unique and touching way.

8:47 PM  

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